Have you ever had a login screen show up in Windows where everything is black except for the logo like the image below? This happens sometimes when the system drive on a server fills up, and a bug in windows causing all of the color settings to default to black. It is a pretty common problem, however for some reason Microsoft has not released a KB article about this even though I have seen this happen numerous times.
Black Login Screen With Logo in Windows 2003
While browsing Newegg looking for some hardware, I came across an issue where the images on their site were not loading. I couldn’t figure out exactly what was going on since it wasn’t a browser cache issue, and it didn’t seem to be a DNS issue, at least not on my workstation anyway. After doing a little digging, I tried clearing the DNS cache on our DNS server and everything came up and the images started loading again fine.
Over the course of the last three months this happened a few times, not only for Newegg but for other sites as well, mostly in the .co.uk TLD though. This happening once was easy enough to dismiss, even happening a second time, ok, but after a third time, there had to be some other underlying issue. Fortunately, Microsoft released a KB article that explains what is going on and how to get around the problem. You can read all about it here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/968372
What is happening is basically that root hints are not updating on the DNS server and SERVFAIL is getting returned to the client requesting the DNS lookup. This can cause pages to not load on certain domains, including but not limited to .co.uk, .cn, and .br, as well as certain .com’s that I have seen. Fortunately the fix is easy enough; you can either configure forwarders or simply tweak the TTL of the root hints on your server. I’m not going to get into the debate of which is better, root hints or forwarders; but for those of you using forwarders this problem will not affect you, and for those of you using root hints, below is a very easy set of commands you can run to fix the problem.
Launch an elevated command prompt and execute the following commands. This will stop your DNS server, add the Microsoft recommended registry value, and start DNS back up again.
NET STOP DNS
REG ADD HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\DNS\Parameters /v MaxCacheTTL /t REG_DWORD /d 0x0002a300
NET START DNS